A personal website has always been a significant step to improve digital presence on the web. But, nowadays, people are quickly moving to freelance work culture.
In such instances, having a personal website will help you to expand your visibility, multiply your network, and get more projects.
But, even otherwise, a personal website is a great place where strangers (and potential customers) get to know about your personal and professional life.
Here is the thing, though. Simply building a personal website is not going to cut it. You cannot expect a lot of people to buzz into your personal website on the first day.
It is also why you have to think about personal website SEO. Personal website SEO deals with the different steps you can follow to get traffic to your personal brand.
It starts with getting your website on the Search Engine Result Pages for the keywords you want but extends to many more things.
In this personal website SEO guide, we have answered some of the big questions you have about building a personal website and getting traffic into it.
But, before that, we wanted to clear some fundamental doubts and set up a solid ground to work with. Spoiler alert: it could be too silly for some of you.
What Is a Personal Website?
Personal websites are a collection of web pages that contain information about an individual, not a company, organization, brand, or cause. There is a slightly different concept of personal branding, but we will consider that later.
For the time being, you should consider a personal website as a place where you can find almost every bit of information about an individual. Most of the time, these websites are built and maintained by individuals themselves.
However, some individuals and celebrities may have a dedicated team for website building and management.
Considering that it has become relatively easy to build and maintain websites, most people prefer doing it independently.
Things have improved so much that you can edit almost every aspect of your personal website from a smartphone or tablet PC. In other words, gone are the days when you wanted a fully-fledged system and in-depth web development knowledge.
There is also another change due to the increasing ease of building a personal website. More people now have the opportunity to create their personal branding in a few minutes without spending a massive amount.
As a result, you can find a vast number of personal websites on the World Wide Web. Some of them work as digital CVs, while others use the space to express opinions and thoughts. If you did not know, it is effortless to integrate a blog into a personal website.
Therefore, while the website shows static info on the individual, the author can use the blog to provide updates, write about interesting topics, or even monetize the project to a great extent.
We will talk more about the monetization part later. Now, keep in mind that even the most basic personal website will help you ensure digital visibility and enable excellent communication.
Why Do You Need One?
Are you still wondering why you need a personal website? Well, the reasons depend on your personal and professional life, but here are the core reasons. We will keep these quick.
- A personal website can work as a digital CV that everyone can access. Instead of providing a random CV Word document to people, you can share the website. Of course, you can set up the personal site to showcase the essential information, your past work, and other things a potential employer/client would want to know.
- More importantly, a personal website can help you improve your online presence by a long shot. Even though Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts are outstanding, a personal website is a more authentic way to share information with others. Also, as we said, you can be pretty creative while building a personal website, thereby creating a superb first impression.
- A personal website is one of the most interactive ways on the web. It means you can communicate with your peers and followers with ease. Thanks to the options for live chat and other widgets, they can get in touch with you as well. Because you can offer all the ways to get in touch with you, it will be ample space as well.
- You can easily set up a blog alongside a personal website. A blog allows you to scribble your thoughts and publish them on the web. You can create multiple blogs for the personal campaign or create a monetization channel. If you have built a presence in the industry, getting people to read your blog would not be challenging.
- If you work in a creative field, a personal website can allow you to showcase an impressive amount of work. In addition, creating a portfolio would not be challenging, even if you have zero coding knowledge or computer expertise. Once again, you could use platforms like Behance and Instagram, but they would not be as original as a personal website.
- Having a personal website is an effective way to build and sustain your professional network. It comes in super handy when you are looking for a new job or project. As we said, a website is better than a typical CV document. Therefore, someone who goes through your website is more likely to get back to you when there is a suitable opportunity.
- Last but not least, a personal website will help you create a unique identity on the world wide web. It would not be one of those Facebook accounts or Instagram pages. Instead, you have the freedom to show what you want to show in the way you like. Even if you do not wish to monetize the website, it should be a good enough reason.
As you can see, these reasons have something in common. They help you in one way or another — and not just in terms of money but also when it comes to sustainable living.
However, we also have a bonus reason why you should build a personal website. Personal websites are so easy to make. We are not kidding when we say that you can have a fully-fledged personal website in a few minutes.
How To Create a Personal Website?
As you may know, there are many ways to create a personal website. However, we do not want to list all of them because some are not good enough. Instead, we have chosen four methods you can rely on.
Please keep in mind that some of these methods may require technical expertise while others do not.
#1 Coding From Scratch
This method is what you mean by creating a website from scratch. To make this possible, you need at least a beginner level of coding knowledge.
Depending on the features you need on the website, you may have to use PHP, HTML5, ASP.NET, etc.
Nevertheless, coding from scratch would not be challenging if you are looking for a standard personal landing page with a few buttons and icons.
On the bright side, if you are good with the coding languages/platforms mentioned earlier, you can design the personal website in any way you like.
Another advantage of coding from scratch is that you can cut down the costs by a long shot. You can pay the hosting/domain management fees, and that is it. Therefore, you can spend less than $30 or $20 to have a unique personal website.
#2 Using WordPress Or Other CMS
WordPress is currently one of the most popular Content Management Systems in the world. The platform is responsible for powering some of the most widely visited websites and blogs worldwide.
So, it makes perfect sense to build a personal website using WordPress.
Creating a personal website using WordPress is easier and more efficient than the coding-from-scratch way. The reason is simple. With WordPress, you can choose one of the thousands of themes available.
On top of finding WordPress themes made for personal websites, you can customize each aspect.
If you have some PHP, HTML, and CSS expertise, you can customize WordPress to a great extent. You can also benefit from the thousands of WordPress plugins available on the web.
You can find plugins to help create a better communication space on your website as well.
Last but not least, each WordPress website comes equipped with a blog. You can use the blog to share your desired updates with the readers.
You have a better chance of turning the website into a source of income, thanks to the presence of themes and plugins. Most of them are free as well.
#3 Use an Online Website Builder
Online website builders have become quite popular in the past decade. These platforms allow you to create a stunning website even if you have zero technical knowledge.
You do not have to worry about hosting or domain management fees if you are willing to pay a monthly cost to the service provider.
Online website builders like Wix try to bring the best of both worlds. For instance, they come equipped with customizable templates and worthwhile features.
So, you can integrate many popular services into your website in an instant. However, it is not easy with the other methods we have listed above.
While it is the easiest way to create a personal website, you may not have enough room for being creative. In addition, most website builders give you limited options for customizations — in terms of design and functionality.
So, if you need a unique personal website from all angles, you should check out other options.
So, these are your best shots at creating your personal website. You can do it from scratch if you wish to have complete control. On the other hand, all the different options provide you with better convenience.
#4 Use A Desktop Website Builder
The method stays in between the code-from-scratch and WordPress methods in terms of difficulty. We are talking about dedicated website builder software for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
These tools might have a few themes or enable advanced customization to the core by offering a collection of website elements.
Once you have built the best personal website using these builders, you can copy the files to your hosting directory. As you can guess, it takes a few more minutes, but you can have original designs, nevertheless.
It is also easy to make changes to the websites because you can easily replace the files.
That being said, these desktop-focused website builders may not be up to date. As a result, you may have to give up on a few features by choosing a desktop website builder over other options.
But, again, if you need maximum convenience, you cannot go wrong here.
Best Tools To Use
Here are some of the best tools you can use to create a personal website.
About.me is a managed website builder made for personal websites. You can use the free option to create a page with the about.me subdomain.
But, you can pay a low monthly fee if you need customization options and want to use your domain name.
Wix.com is a fully-fledged website builder that thousands of people use. You can create almost every type of website using Wix.com, and there are some stunning personal website templates.
In addition, Wix.com allows a good amount of control over the design.
Squarespace is one of the most popular places to create fully-fledged personal websites. In addition to picking one of the best templates, Squarespace is a great place to integrate more services. You can even set up your eCommerce store using Squarespace.
WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular website on the world wide web right now. Depending on the control you need, you can choose between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
While the former allows you to publish right away, the latter option requires hosting and other setups.
RapidWeaver is one of our favorite options to create a stunning website. This app is available for macOS, and it allows you to build great websites without writing a single line of code.
There are only a few templates in the package, but you can customize things as you want.
SEO Optimization of Personal Website
Now that you know how to build a personal website, shall we talk about optimizing it for SEO? Here are the best SEO optimization tips for a personal website.
#1 Title Tag
The first step is to ensure that the title tag of your website contains your name. In addition, the tag must also include a word or phrase you want to be found for.
For example, suppose you are a content writer. In that case, the title tag must have your name and the phrase content writer somewhere in it.
We do not mean that you should stuff the title tag with keywords since it can negatively affect your SEO visibility. Instead, you have to keep things minimal.
You can do this by editing the site’s code or checking the option on your CMS or website builder.
#2 <h1> Tag
It would help if you also tried to include your name in the <h1> and <h2> tags on the website. If your website does not have these tags, we recommend adding them on your own.
This is because when search engines crawl your website, they tend to focus on these tags.
In the same way, you should make use of alt tags and image descriptions on the website. It would be best if you kept in mind that we are looking for the maximum visibility possible.
So, even an image that leads to your website is an excellent option.
You cannot expect good search engine visibility without optimizing your website for mobile devices. So, no matter how you build it, the website must be responsible and mobile-friendly.
You should also ensure that additional elements on your website do not mess with the User Experience.
It is also a good idea to remove unwanted elements from your website. In the end, you would have a website with clean code, which is easy to understand.
It will have an impact on how quickly your site becomes ready for the user as well.
#4 Blog Matters
Having an interesting blog can help you attract more viewers to your personal website. It would help if you remembered to keep the blog as a subdomain or a simple directory.
Therefore, people who end up on your blog post can quickly go to the main page.
Now, you have a couple of options when you own a blog. You should ensure a proper balance of keywords and content on the blog posts. Therefore, you would not have to worry about traffic.
As long as you publish quality content, readers would come rushing.
#5 Use SEO Tools
Depending on the method you have used to build a personal website, you can use one of the SEO tools in the market. In the case of WordPress, you can find many WordPress plugins for SEO.
If you rely on a website builder like Wix.com, there would be separate areas for SEOs.
Even if there are not many extra areas, you should keep the basics in check. For instance, you have to provide the right content for meta descriptions and other columns. If your website supports widgets, you can add them too.
These steps may seem simple, but they significantly impact your personal website ranks on Search Engine Result Pages.
Monetizing Personal Website
There are not many ways to monetize your personal website. So, we will recommend the best option.
Having a regularly updated blog is the best way to earn an income from your personal website. Once it starts to receive regular traffic, you can place ads on the blog and earn income per impression or clicks.
Otherwise, your blog would become one of the many websites on the World Wide Web.
Of course, you can consider placing ads on the landing page, but it may disrupt the User Experience. So, we recommend using the blog and other pages for monetization and leaving the homepage free.
In this way, you would not convey the impression that you are trying too hard to make money. After all, a personal site should look professional, correct?
What Κind Of Content To Add To Your Personal Website?
Once again, the answer depends on why you have built the personal website in the first place. However, as a rule of thumb, a personal website should have the following things.
- A landing page, which contains essential information about your work, social media icons, and CTA
- A blog where you can share your exciting thoughts and content you want to monetize
- A Portfolio, where you can include information about your career or past projects
- A Contact page, which the reader can use to get in touch with you, via email or otherwise
- A few icons that lead the reader to your major social media handles
While these are essential, you can add as many pages as you want. However, we would not recommend adding too many pages since it may affect the UI/UX again.
Can Social Media Help?
Yes, social media can help in attracting more visitors to your personal website. However, you must focus on platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube, which are authority websites.
You should also ensure that you link the personal website on your prominent social media handles like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
If you already have a good network of people on these platforms, you can use it to tunnel referral traffic. Also, the next time someone asks for your previous work, you can share the website URL instead of listing individual projects.
We believe our guide solved all your doubts about building a personal website. However, we must also add that optimizing the site for SEO is dependent on the platform you have chosen for building.
Therefore, if you think you need maximum control for SEO and design, you should choose a less strict platform to build the personal site.